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DaveTrojan

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 #1 

Attention Arizona wreck chasers! 

Attention, All hands on deck, Find this Plane wreck!

A newly restored WWII Grumman TBM-3, registration #, N337VT

Crashed May 07, 2018

The 2 crewmen bailed out and were rescued!

The aircraft is missing!

Location is listed as in Fort Apache, Navajo County, Arizona

 

Taigh Ramey, Vintage Aircraft, Stockton, California wrote:

The owner, Ron, was flying the TBM home from California and was on a leg from Phoenix to Albuquerque when he had what he called a catastrophic engine failure at around 12,000 feet.

The terrain was pretty rough and they decided to bail out instead of trying to put it down in the rugged mountainous area below. Ron said he rolled it over a bit so his passenger could get out and after he was safely clear Ron followed shortly after.

 They landed in a heavily forested area and his passenger was caught in a tree about 30 feet up. In the process of getting himself down he fell and hit pretty hard. Ron also hit hard but his helmet to save him from more serious injuries. Both Ron and Kenney were pretty beat up but are going to recover. In fact they are on their way home as I write this.

 The TBM-3E 53337 was a sweetheart for sure. The previous owners in Australia did a lot of work on the old gal and she was in great shape. We helped with the pre purchase inspection, import and licensing/airworthiness. We also put a lot of the original WWII gear back in to make her more authentic. Ron was going to take her to the TBM gathering that is coming up and was very excited to do so.

 We are so relieved that Ron and Kenney are okay. We are also heartbroken that the TBM is gone as we really became attached to the old gal. They still haven't located the wreck so I guess there is a slim chance that she put down by herself but that is our dream at this point.

 Good job Ron!

 

More info here:

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2018/05/grumman-tbm-3-n337vt-accident-occurred.html

Here's some recent video from work being done in Stockton, CA



 

SaxMan

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 #2 
They still haven't located the plane.   The fact that there was no post crash fire is at least generating some optimism that the plane may be at least partially intact.
ChrisBaird

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 #3 
Was this ever found?

NTSB has a coordinate of        
38.814444, -109.653889

I'm assuming that's a typo and the latitude is 33 not 38.
DaveTrojan

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 #4 
It is still missing now it has a

$20,000 Reward For Lost Warbird
https://www.avweb.com/recent-updates/business-military/20000-reward-for-lost-warbird/

more info here
https://www.wmicentral.com/news/apache_county/a-tale-of-survival-and-the-search-for-a-lost/article_c249ee52-d03a-5c5f-8ca3-979d37feda32.html

THe wreck is believed to be on Indian land
The lands of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation referenced in this article are only accessible by tribal-issued permits, and are currently closed for the winter season. Anyone attempting to access will be treated as a trespasser and subject to fines and property seizure, according to the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Dennis

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 #5 
This is like a dream come true.
1. You have a "fresh" WWII wreck.
2. You have a "Navy" plane without the "Navy" red tape
3. You have someone wanting to pay you to find it.

The setback: Native American Land - I would imagine a veteran wreck hunter could negotiate something with the Tribe for a permit.   Dennis
DaveTrojan

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 #6 
I Like what you said Dennis,
I’ll add that the best part is the reward money, getting paid to chase a wreck.
I wonder when the next Google Earth images of the area come out,
Does anybody know any other updated aerial images of the area?
Dennis

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 #7 
Seriously, I think that if 10K was offered for the benefit of the Tribe, the permit would sail through.  Adding additional rewards, you could probably pick up some tribal volunteers.  I would do a hunt like this for free, but even if one only kept 5K of the reward...  "Drone money".   Dennis 
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